Sighs of the Times (An ottavarima, written May 2008)

I have never owned a pricey pearl–
or found a cheap one. Nor have I let
my greedy, fumbling fingers curl
around the strung orbs in Nana’s set.
But because I’m such a modern girl,
I Googled “mustard seed” on the ‘Net
and found an image, actual-sized,
to capture what You metaphorized.

That Good Shepherd you alluded to
was just a concept to me until
I turned twenty and met a man who
had a mutt trained by a whistle trill
to stir up the sheep. Storm-like, they flew.
The shepherd’s whistle could bend their will:
dog and whirlwind of terrified trust.
And I wondered, is that like God and us?

I never grasped the Crucifixion
until Mel Gibson (over?-) drama-
tized your death in Hollywood fiction.
I was shocked by the bloody trauma,
by the extent of your affliction,
the real, raw tears shed by your momma,
so shocked that I wanted to question
Your Father’s bloody predilection.

If Faith is believing in what we cannot see,
when compared to St. Peter’s, my faith is greater.
I too could cry “Desiderio domini,”
but You came during their Then, not in my Later.
In my Postmodern Era’s spiritual Dead Sea
the Way has been lost, and the Truth is a traitor.
Even the Light scatters wildly through a prism
of confounding biblical anachronism.

A Winter Yarn – Written in Winter 2006

A fairy tale was told to me of lovers long ago

Who met one winter in a storm of freezing, bitter snow.

The night was cold before the snow fell down upon the field,

But Maia fair was unaware that she would need a shield.

She was off to see her mother, who lived within the lake,

And she was walking on a path that she would often take.

But the wind turned cruel and cold; it bit in every bone,

And Maia shivered in the snow, and she was all alone.

Her eyes, they closed against her will; she trudged across the ground;

Then Maia fell and knew no more, while snow came swirling down.

But a brave young prince flew o’er the field, riding his brown sparrow;

The bird spied Maia on the ground, and shot to her like an arrow.

They found her lying in the snow; the flakes were in her hair,

Her face was white, her limbs were cold, yet ever she was fair.

He woke her gently, with soft words, and took her icy hand.

He saw her then, and knew her as the fairest in the land.

Maia’s blood was Seelie fay, whose side most would call “good,”

Her savior was of darker line: Unseelies of the Wood.

His name, he said, was Yarrow, and he helped her from the snow,

And took her to his darkened wood where Seelies should not go.

He lit a fire inside his home and wrapped her in soft fur.

They spoke of much as she grew warm, and he grew fond of her.

With rise of dawn, he took her to the lake with heavy heart,

And Maia wept; with sorrow from his side she did depart.

They went their ways, but not for long: none knew of their meeting,

Except for Yarrow’s sharp-eyed sparrow, whose memory was fleeting.

 

Their trysts were brief and passing, like the Scarlet Pimper’s red.

Then winter came again, and soon, all life lay still and dead.

An icy wind cut through the trees and snow the land did cover,

And Maia’s lake was frozen o’er; she could not meet her lover.

“Throughout the winter she did pine for sight of her dear Yarrow,

And she grew pale and oft did ail from deep and rending sorrow.

Many learned ere Solstice Moon that Maia had a love,

And oftentimes above the ice they saw a bird above.

When springtime thawed the water’s source, and blooms began to grow,

The sparrow’s voice above the lake was heard by those below:

The dark wood’s Prince had come in love to meet his lady fair,

And Maia used her own heart’s wings to join him in the air.

 

Since this, no soul has seen nor heard from either of the lovers.

But every Winter Solstice, when snow lays in white covers,

A silver sound like merry bells rings like the lovers’ laughter.

‘Tis proof, indeed, that they live yet– and happily ever after.

 

 

Feb. 14, 2008 – A Valentine’s Day Rumination on the Origins of Relational Strain

a.k.a, “An Evening with Eve”

 

Eve, now, come—

You and I must talk.

Sit for a moment, relax!

No, don’t be ashamed;

we’re both women, here,

and I need to talk to you

about just that.

 

Tell me, when first you

were tempted,

why was no Adam

there to tempt you back?

Was it then that you first

decided to become

The Temptress?

 

From whom did you learn

your tempting skills?

the Serpent?

The Cat?  They both hiss,

They eat rats, they kill;

and I daresay, they

could conquer any Man.

 

You have forgotten?

Oh, I see; it has been too long—

too long for you, but not

for me.  I feel them, I can–

those effects of your wish

to be wiser than you were

or were meant to be.

 

Oh, you wish you hadn’t

known then

what you know now?

Well, don’t we all, Eve,

don’t we all?

I know I do, because—

I—OW!

 

Oh, I’m fine! I just need a pill.

We try to medicate

your Curse away with

Midol and Xanax now,

and we stick a needle

in our back to cut

the pain of our travail.

 

And what of the other

Curse, you say?

Well, it is still in effect:

we women are frail!

We still want husbands—

but we want to

rule over them–

enthroned alone.

 

We put on our business

attire, and go to work.

We took up His curse

to break our own,

you see, so that:

‘By the sweat of our brow’

and so forth…

 

Does it work? Well, not really.

Because then that former

portion of the curse returns:

We want husbands, of course,

then babies, naturally,

and then we don’t want,

anymore, to be Men.

 

So that latter bit

about ruling,

falls by the wayside

and we are ruled again.

But this time, we’re

ruled by wounded Men.

Oh, it is a mess…!

 

The trampled Sons

of Adam vent their

rage on the Daughters

of Eve.  I confess,

Dear Eve, today,

to them, we’re barely

seen as human . . .

 

Even when we’re

Naked, as you once

were, and seen as

precious to your man

–Young Adam—then.

We’re mere trifles

to today’s Men…

 

So tell me, Eve,

is there a way to just

go back, Way Back,

to the “way it was” then?

Back when you were

Innocent, perhaps?

No, better to try

 

To go back to where

God took you

from the first:

At Adam’s side,

beside his heart,

and underneath

his loving arm.

 

Loved, like his own flesh,

(For so you were)

he protected you

from such harm.

Your union,

in symbol, at least,

began, in the Beginning,

as Bliss….

 

It had to be better

to be bone of his bone—

Much better, Dear Eve,

by far– than this –

 

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